President's Updates

April 2022

Dear Millersville University Community,

As we approach the zenith of the academic year, also known as commencement, I am thrilled to see that our entire campus will have an opportunity to celebrate the culmination of years of work by our students. When our students cross the stage next week, it will be because of their grit and perseverance and the dedication of our faculty and staff, who helped to make it possible. The last few years have been unparalleled in higher education, but we are emerging stronger together as a community. I am excited to celebrate with all of you.

Like many of you, the events of the past month have caused me to reflect deeply on the importance of recognizing the people who mean so much to our campus community. We have shared in the extreme sorrow of losing two of our beloved employees, Renardo Hall and Nick Celia, and we recognize and honor their profound impact on our campus. In the midst of this sorrow, we have also experienced moments of joy and celebration at events such as the Rainbow Celebration, the Students of Color Recognition Event, the Honors College Banquet and the Student Leadership Awards.

Spring is a time for new beginnings, and we will soon welcome two new leaders to campus: a new Vice President of Student Affairs and a new Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. Over the past two weeks, interested candidates have visited our campus, and I appreciate the support of all those who attended the various sessions and asked insightful questions. I know the candidates felt welcomed by our campus and left with positive impressions of the 'Ville. I encourage you to provide feedback to the search committees at your earliest convenience because I value your voice in making decisions about how to select new members to join our community.

As our students prepare for their final exams in the coming week and the end of the spring semester, kindly take some time for yourself. Be gentle with yourself if you don't accomplish everything on your "to-do" list in one day. Take some time to look at the beautiful spring flowers and listen to the birds singing. Our campus looks magnificent this time of year.

This month's newsletter highlights how our sophomore Pearl Ramos is serving in the first-ever Environmental Justice Fellowship and how students are working to bring us a new café for the fall. An update on the "Imagine the Possible: Revitalized" campaign is provided as we celebrate the scholarly work of several of our faculty members. Finally, a summary of how our athletic teams are doing rounds up the stories for this month. I hope that these stories provide a brief respite during this rollercoaster of a spring and provide inspiration to finish the year strong.

Last but not least, I want to invite all employees to the end-of-year barbeque at the 'Ville Courts on May 12, 2022, from noon to 3:00 p.m. Until then, stay safe and be well.

First Environmental Justice Fellowship Awarded

Earth Day was April 22, and to celebrate, the Millersville University Watershed Education Training institute announced its first-ever Environmental Justice Fellowship. The award goes to sophomore Pearl Ramos. The year-long fellowship aims to expand student involvement in watershed education and applied aspects of environmental management to preserve waterways. The fellowship is awarded to an underrepresented student studying biology or chemistry with a focus on secondary education.

The WETi fellow will be involved with multiple stormwater management and environmental education efforts on campus. Ramos will assist Dr. John R. Wallace and the University's facilities personnel with coordinating stormwater management efforts. They will work on meeting federal and state municipal storm sewer requirements to manage stormwater on campus. Ramos participated in a weekend workshop last fall focused on stormwater management. Together with the student-driven stormwater team, she devised a series of stormwater best management practices to be installed on campus over the next 12 months.

In addition, Ramos will work with Dr. Nanette Marcum-Dietrich and other MU undergraduate and graduate students to support various watershed educational programs involving in-service teacher and pre-teaching training during the spring, summer and fall semesters. Ramos plans to pursue a career as a high school chemistry teacher when she graduates.

To be considered for a WETi fellowship, the student must be a science major with a minor in secondary education, part of an underrepresented community, be a rising sophomore, junior, or senior, have a GPA of 2.5 or more and have a passion for science and the environment.

Winners of Student Cafe Competition Announced

Congratulations are in order for Millersville University students Georgea Hall, Alexandriya Lebo, Andrew Long and John Reidinger — they were recently announced as the winning team of the Student Café Competition.

Earlier this year, the University organized a contest for student teams to envision and design renovations for the space currently occupied by the 'Ville Perk Café. Each team was instructed to develop a plan based on a $50,000 budget. Within this budget, students presented their renovation plans and any marketing and product ideas for the new café.

"The students from the winning team presented a café plan whose concept was crystal clear and woven throughout all of their ideas," says Dr. Marc Tomljanovich, dean of the Lombardo College of Business. "Sustainability is on everyone's mind these days, and I believe our campus will be very well served by this exciting new space."

To apply, each team was required to send a video presentation and a written summary of their renovation ideas. In this application, students answered the question of how this café will benefit students, build a sense of community, and improve campus life. The initial group of proposals was pared down to 10 semi-finalists by the judges. The three finalists were selected by students through an online vote. Students were then required to pitch their proposal to a panel of judges and answer any questions afterward. The details of how the $50,000 budget could be spent were the focus of each presentation, along with presenting a new name, overall concept and aesthetic and the café's integration with student life.

The winning team is already working with the current student managers of 'Ville Perk Café on the changes. They will continue to work with dining services and facilities this summer as the design is finalized and construction begins. The students were also awarded $5,000 in the form of a scholarship split between them. The president's office, the Office of Innovation and the Student Government Association helped fund the scholarship.

The new name for the café has yet to be announced, but students should expect the grand opening next fall.

Campaign Tops $90 Million

When the "Imagine the Possible" fundraising campaign started in 2017 with a goal to raise $32 million in three years, no one imagined just how successful the effort would be. As of March 22, 2022, the campaign has raised $92,385,081.

We've been making history at Millersville University since the campaign began. As the first fundraising campaign in our history focused entirely on students, the response has been nothing short of amazing.

The Imagine the Possible campaign areas include scholarships, student learning experiences, Marauder athletics and campus revitalization.

Timeline for Imagine the Possible:

  • July 1, 2017 – 3-year campaign begins with goal of $32 million
  • June 11, 2020 – campaign hits $44.8 million (140% to goal) and is extended
  • March 31, 2022 – campaign tops $92 million
  • June 30, 2023 – the campaign will conclude

We are looking forward to the next 15 months as we work toward the conclusion of the campaign on June 30, 2023. Through the tremendous generosity of our community, the opportunities for Millersville University students to "Imagine the Possible" continue to grow, and the achievements of our students exceed the imagination. I want to extend my sincere gratitude to everyone involved in making this remarkable progress possible.

Faculty Highlights

Faculty at Millersville University have been busy over the past several months. Here are some of the highlights.

Drs. Ollie Dreon, professor of Educational Foundations; Leslie Gates, associate professor of Art and Design; Jeffrey Wimer, associate professor of Wellness and Sport Sciences; and Miriam Witmer, assistant professor of Educational Foundations recently presented at the International Mentoring Association conference.

Dr. Shawn Gallagher, professor of psychology, and recent alum, Nicholas Incelli, had an article published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies," Pandemic Dreams are Susceptible to Priming and Unrelated to COVID-19 Exposure." The article was published in September 2021, when Incelli was a senior at Millersville.

Dr. Ann Cancilla Gaudino, associate professor of Educational Foundations, recently learned that the journal she began in 2011, "The Excellence in Education Journal" will be placed in EBSCO's database. That means all past and future articles published by the journal will be available to users everywhere.

Dr. Stacey Irwin, professor in Communication & Theatre, will assume the president of the Broadcast Education Association in April. BEA is the premiere international academic media organization, driving insights, excellence in media production and career advancement for educators, students and professionals. Irwin's term begins after the 2022 BEA Conference. She is the 7th female elected president in 56 years of the organization's history.

Dr. Katarzyna Jakubiak, associate professor in English & World Languages, was recently awarded the Rebecca Mitchell Tarumoto Short Fiction Prize by the literary magazine Blackbird. Jakubiak's story, "Made of Sugar," was published in the spring of 2021 and was selected by the editors from short fiction published by Blackbird over the previous two-year period.

Dr. Dawn Lambert, assistant professor in the Wehrheim School of Nursing, was recently selected by the PA Association of School Nurses and Practitioners as the Southeast Region School Nurse Administrator of the Year. Lambert has done a great deal of work and curriculum revision for Millersville's school nurse certificate program over the past two years, resulting in significant enrollment increases.

Dr. Nanette Marcum-Dietrich, professor of Educational Foundations, recently presented at the 11th World Environmental Education Congress in Prague, Czech Republic. The theme for the conference was "Building Bridges in Times of Climate Urgency." The conference took place March 14-18.

Dr. Susanne Nimmrichter, associate professor of German, has been named the 2022 recipient of the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages "Nelson H. Brooks Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Profession." She received her award in February at the NECTFL convention in New York City.

Spring Sports Update

As the weather is warming up, so is the competition for our spring sports! Our student-athletes are enjoying a banner spring, and I encourage you to get outside and cheer on our teams as they make a push for the postseason.

Our women's tennis team are the PSAC East champions for the first time, and the women’s team and men’s team both play in the PSAC Tournament today! We've seen the Millersville baseball team as high as No. 19 in the nation recently and it enters the weekend in first place in the PSAC East. There are some exciting series coming to The Coop soon as our baseball team plays for another PSAC East title! Mark your calendars for May 12-14 because our women's track and field team is hosting the PSAC Championships right here at Biemesderfer Stadium!

With record-breaking performances from our athletes already this spring, the team looks like a contender and can use all of our support. Our women's lacrosse, men's tennis and softball teams are also in the mix for PSAC Tournament appearances. We wish them the best of luck in pursuit of championships.

Finally, the sixth annual Dining with Champions is planned for Saturday, May 21. It is free to attend, but you must register in advance. Celebrate our best and brightest athletes with food, drink, a silent auction and great company. Find out more about the event at